From regional banks to consulting

Maire Junge und Anne-Sophie Lüder

Release date: 29 May 2024

From HR to omnichannel management and even the innovation department – Anne-Sophie and Maire got to know many different areas of regional banks. Nevertheless, they both decided to leave their regional banks  and take the plunge into consulting. In this blog post, they tell us why they opted for consulting and zeb and how their day-to-day work at zeb differs from that at the bank.

What were your reasons to change jobs and go into consulting? 

After working in banks for some time, we felt the need for a new challenge. Having completed our Master’s degrees, we both wanted to put our theoretical knowledge into practice, get to know a new working environment and move beyond our familiar surroundings in Hamburg and Cologne. Even though we had worked in many different areas at our regional banks, we were keen to experience something completely new once again. 

Having said that, it wasn’t easy for us to leave our regional banks behind. It felt a bit like breaking up after many years of being in a relationship, when the infatuation has gone while the friendship is still there. But although changing the work environment always brings some uncertainty, we were looking forward to the new challenge.

Why did you apply to zeb specifically?

As one of the leading consultancies in the financial services sector, zeb had been known to us for some time. We had also heard a lot about zeb as an employer from people in our circles. What’s more, we saw the opportunity to contribute our knowledge of the regional banking industry at zeb, as we still have a connection to regional banks after all.

What does your everyday life in consulting look like?

Everyday life as a consultant has a lot of advantages, but also brings some challenges. Obviously, a job in consulting isn’t a nine-to-five job, and working hours can’t always be planned. Depending on the project, traveling is also regularly on the agenda, which requires a certain amount of flexibility.  

We were thrown in at the deep end from day one and have regularly had to leave our comfort zone. This has the advantage that we are constantly developing and surpassing ourselves. No two days are the same, and during our time at zeb we have become acquainted with a wide range of topics in various projects.

In addition, zeb very much promotes personal initiative. There are no traditional line managers, and you get to make your own decisions within your scope of action. However, we can always rely on the support of our colleagues and mentors, of course.  Unlike in regional banks, where there are fixed team structures and assigned roles, at zeb we work in cross-functional teams. That way, the tasks and responsibilities can vary depending on the project.

Maire: My highlight was a project at a large Japanese bank, which gave me a completely new insight into the banking sector in an international environment and in English. 

Anne-Sophie: Personally, I can’t name a specific highlight, but I like to think back to projects that gave me the chance to accompany clients through a change process from start to finish. I do have one highlight, however, that belongs on the list of the most unusual workshop locations: a bowling alley. 😉 

Regional bank or consulting – what is your conclusion?

At our regional banks, we had predictable working hours and a continuous workload. This made our day-to-day work routine, which gave us a sense of security. By contrast, the flat hierarchy at zeb allows us to work very independently and flexibly. The motto here is “reasoning beats hierarchy”, so we get to actively contribute our opinions. Apart from traveling and on-premise client meetings, we can choose whether we want to go to the office or work from home or from any other place. The ultra-modern office facilities are another plus. 

Maire: As I was out and about in Leipzig, Frankfurt and Wolfsburg last week, I’m now looking forward to some good coffee in the Hamburg office . 

Anne-Sophie: I also like to enjoy the coffee in the Hamburg office, but I’m usually at the client’s or at home – at zeb you don’t necessarily have to live near an office location after all. 

Whether regional bank or consulting, both career paths have their advantages.  Which of them prevail at the end of the day obviously depends on the individual. For the two of us, however, it’s definitely the advantages of zeb!

Anne-Sophies and Maires testimonial and their careers at zeb have aroused your interest? Click here to find further information about your career opportunities. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Anne-Sophie or Maire personally.

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Do you still have questions about becoming a consultant at zeb? Then please contact our Talent Attraction team. You can find the right contact person here.